Album Playlist: Favorites, Least Favorites, and Honorable Mentions of 2013, Part 2…


31CtR6kKfBL._SL500_AA280_

Welcome all who dare to part deux of my Favorites, Least Favorites, and Honorable Mentions of 2013 for all who dare to enter the brentmusicreviews zone! Ha… If you missed the first part (Favorites, Least Favorites, and Honorable Mentions of 2013, Part 1), you should like totally check out my favorites from 2013, ‘cause there was some awesome albums.  If you’re not one for positivity and optimism, maybe you’re just checking this out because some you enjoy skepticism, criticism, and the occasional, um, cynicism.  Regardless, let me remind you how I started off my previous post:

As I look over my 2013 playlist from my iPod, I realize I have listened to numerous albums this year.  In fact, the amount of music that my ears have consumed and my pen has analyzed is pretty scary…and I still missed lots of albums! SMH! Some were special, some made me cringe, and some fell somewhere in between the two extremes.  As difficult as it was, as of October 7, 2013, I have compiled a list housing my favorites, least favorites, and honorable mentions.  I’m almost certain I’ve slighted someone and I’m sure there will be continual revisions, but for now, here’s what you should’ve spun, what you should’ve avoided like the plague, and those that were strongly consideration for favorites. Enjoy!

Here it is!

Least Favorites… 

Pop

51Tc2AC8oXL._SL500_AA280_Selena Gomez, Stars Dance

will.i.am., #willpower

Neither of these were my cup of tea, period.  will.i.am went way too stupid for my tastes while I never enjoyed the Rihanna-copycat “Come & Get It”, which drew buzz for Stars Dance.  Avoid these…like the plague.  Brent has spoken.

Traditional Pop 

51eFEzIMFIL._SL500_AA280_Andrea Bocelli, Passione

Let me first say that I love Andrea Bocelli and consider him to have a brilliant voice.  Also, I don’t think Passione was nearly as bad as most of the albums categorized as my least favorites. BUT, it wasn’t as good as I expected nor my favorite.  Sorry A.B.

Rock

Goo Goo Dolls, Magnetic

I’m going to keep this short and sweet – I think we/they are long past the/their “Iris” days… just saying.

Alternative 

51swDEPGNyL._SX300_The Neighbourhood, I Love You. 

Let me be positive for starters.  I appreciated the dark nature of this particular effort… that was a bright spot, ironically.  As for the material, um not so much.  A perfect example is the shamefully childish “Staying Up” in which frontman Jesse Rutherford clumsily sings “Some part of me feels a little bit naked and empty / I’m stuck underneath a few dirty old blankets to comfort me”.  Please!

R&B

51Ba7nMekKL._SL500_AA280_The-Dream, IV Play

The Weeknd, Kiss Land 

Let me be the first to say that I dearly love R&B.  If she were are lady, I just might marry her… not in a creepy way though.  I don’t even mind ti too much when the genre trends more risqué as both the emotional (romance) and physical (sex) are important facets of the content.  However, both The-Dream and The Weeknd weren’t up to their usual artistry on their latest efforts and often went too left of center.  The-Dream sounded uninspired and oversexed throughout IV Play while The Weeknd’s alt-R&B on the highly anticipated Kiss Land just didn’t live up to the buzz of 2012 compilation Trilogy.  I found myself having to return to “Sweat It Out” (Love vs. Money) and “Wicked Games” (Trilogy).

Traditional R&B

51FYy9s6GlL._SY300_Ron Isley, This Song Is For You 

SMH.  This one hurts me too.  Let me first give accolades to Ron Isley and his enduring career in the music game.  Him and the Isley Bros’ contributions to music are nothing short of exceptional.  To this day, maybe with the exception of my boy Jaheim’s vocal runs on his recent song “Florida” (from Appreciation Day),  perfectly emulating Isley’s voice is nearly impossible.  While that signature voice is still afloat on This Song Is For You, the material doesn’t always do the legendary soul singer justice.  Sure I’m on board for “This Song Is For You” and “Dinner and a Movie”, but otherwise the album doesn’t make me want to stop spinning classics like “Shout” or “Between The Sheets”.

Rap

61UFD4qjpDL._SL500_AA280_Lil Wayne, I Am Not A Human Being II

Tyga, Hotel California

French Montana, Excuse My French

Rap music truly did have a good year.  That said, that didn’t stop some underachievers from trying to ‘kill the vibe’.  Lil Wayne was definitely not up to snuff on I Am Not A Human Being II, a poor excuse for a follow-up compared to the first installment.  For Tyga, trying to recapture the success of his previous jam-packed album (featuring “Rack City” and “Faded among its hits) ended up only so-so as Hotel California was mediocre at best, even if Siri couldn’t seem to find “Molly”.  As for French Montana, after the brilliantly salacious “Pop That”, you would’ve thought the MC’s debut would’ve been more notable.  Wrong!

Reggae

Snoop Lion, Reincarnated 

Using my positivity once more, Reincarnated was a much better album than expected from Snoop Lion.  That said, I would’ve much rather heard ‘Snoop Dogg’ on his West Coast swag rapping, not singing.  Can I get another “Drop It Like It’s Hot” ‘Dogg’?

Country

51AN-VnY7bL._SL500_AA280_Lady Antebellum, Golden

Luke Bryan, Crash My Party 

I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been feeling country this year.  That said, I have listened to a couple of albums that just disappointed me.  Sure, I had issues with Luke Bryan’s booze fest on his earlier compilation effort Spring Break…Here To Party, but Crash My Party was just disappointing, particularly considering the exceptional numbers it posted.  As for those critical darlings Lady Antebellum, personally I found Golden as exciting as watching ‘paint dry’.  It wasn’t a bad album, but nor was it exciting or innovative.  Hilary and Charles can still sing mind you, but still…

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